Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Peri Berki - December 9, 1983

Living as a Catholic

You mentioned that living in, with a Gentile family you noticed anti-Semitism because they didn't know you were Jewish and spoke more freely. Can you describe any incidents...

Yeah...

like that?

mm-hm, that's a good question, but first I want to say that, how we adjusted ourselves immediately, unbelievable that that's the instinct for survival. I was a Catholic ???, they were very religious Catholics too and every Sunday they went to church. And it was two, two seats, the men went different services and the women went. So my, my son went with the man of the house and I went with the woman, woman. And I nagged in the church and they nag... kneeling. And I crossed myself.

Yeah, did you know the prayers? How did you know what to say?

They don't pray aloud. And I learned it too, only that prayer. They, they don't pray loud, they don't have to say the words.

And your, your son knew how to cross himself?

Yeah, because uh, in fact I tell you something, you cannot uh, re... re... reflected ??? and it just came out perfect like that. Always. And we had to cross ourselves on the streets, street corners they had a cross. It was a religious, Hungary is a Catholic country, and it was a religious Catholic village, a small village. And in certain corners they had a cross, and everybody who passed by had to cross, and they did. So it didn't, didn't do any harm. In fact, Friday evening, I used to read something Friday evening, I used to always ask ??? around his neck not good enough could he lend me a candle, I would also use a candle so I can read better. And this candle was my Friday evening candle. So that you, you assimilateónot assimilate...

Adapt.

Adapt yourself to things which I... Now, I looking back, I can't believe how, what instinct and how it was that it all came to my mind to help us. Unbelievable, looking back now.

Yes.


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